Brief Communications

Nature 427, 311-312 (22 January 2004) | doi:10.1038/427311a

Neuroplasticity: Changes in grey matter induced by training

Bogdan Draganski1, Christian Gaser2, Volker Busch1, Gerhard Schuierer3, Ulrich Bogdahn1 & Arne May1

Does the structure of an adult human brain alter in response to environmental demands1, 2? Here we use whole-brain magnetic-resonance imaging to visualize learning-induced plasticity in the brains of volunteers who have learned to juggle. We find that these individuals show a transient and selective structural change in brain areas that are associated with the processing and storage of complex visual motion. This discovery of a stimulus-dependent alteration in the brain's macroscopic structure contradicts the traditionally held view that cortical plasticity is associated with functional rather than anatomical changes.

  1. Department of Neurology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg 93053, Germany
  2. Department of Psychiatry, University of Jena, 07740 Jena, Germany
  3. Institute of Neuroradiology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg 93053, Germany

Correspondence to: Arne May1 e-mail: Email: arne.may@klinik.uni-regensburg.de

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